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“Happy four nights in Paradise” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maafushivaru

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Maafushivaru
Ranked #10 of 18 Hotels in Southern Ari Atoll
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai
Level Contributor
75 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Happy four nights in Paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2013

Having recently been to Maafushivaru thought I would get round to writing a view.

Postives:

Snorkelling
beach
scenery
trips ( Whale shark, manta trips a must)

The rooms were nice. Nothing amazing but simple and everything you could want. People rave about the service but it was fine. Nothing great about the bar or food service. The best staff I encountered were on the boat trips who went out of their way to make sure my gf was safe and saw whale sharks and mantas. The other staff I liked was Anna who took time out to not be obtrusive but have a friendly chat and show us round the resort and explain how the staff lived.

Oh and the chef I liked and when he tells you to try his curry dont hesitate. His pumkin curry was amazing. He said it was no. 1 and two helpings late I had to agree and this is someone who normally turns his nose up at vegetarian curries.

The negatives. Not really got any. Loved the all inclusive. The singer they had on Saturday night was great and we stayed until midnight when he finished his set.

Probably try another island next time just to try a different reef more than anything but would defo reccommend to friends and family.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Evickage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (146)
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English first
Barrowford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
113 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2013

I appreciate writing this review will 'break the mould' a little but we have to be honest.

Was it amazing? is the water so clear you can see fish for miles? is the beach white? are the sunsets jaw dropping? yes, yes yes.

BUT, it just feels like something is missing.

We were on our honeymoon and had very high expectations for the Maldives and Maafushivaru. Check in was brilliant and they sent a boat just for me and the wife to pick us up from the jetty (after the seaplane transfer). The rep (Maria) was very good and we got settled in very quickly.

The water villa was lovely and the view incredible. The resorts amenities are very good and the spa, restaurant, gym, reception, shops etc were all good.

The staff on the resort are very friendly and really do make an effort to make you feel welcome and special.

Now, we cannot complain as we had a wonderful time. However for the money, we feel a little short changed. i.e you would expect a mini bar in the room, which there was. But no beer, and the wife drinks diet coke. So every night at sunset I had to a ten minute walk to the bar to get our drinks. No big deal I know, but when you pay nearly £600 per night, you would expect a beer in the fridge.

Also, the shop prices were very overpriced. I appreciate they have to ship stuff in, but surely they make enough money from the rooms?

The spa as expected was not included in the all inclusive, but again the prices were overinflated. I think the massage we were interested in was £160 for an hour.

The restaurant, as good as it was just didn't match what we expected, Food was brilliant, but the variety seemed a little same same. i.e each night has a different theme, but rather than changing the whole menu, a few 'themed' dishes appeared.

I don't think anyone can visit Maafushivaru and complain, and this is far from that, But we just felt is was amazing but not the 'trip of a lifetime' we were expecting.

Room Tip: go for sunset side if you get a water villa. If you opt fort a beach do your research and see what n...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LeeNSazzle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerville, Massachusetts, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2013

My husband and I spent the last 4 nights of our honeymoon at Maafushivaru. We could not and cannot stop raving about this resort. We had one of the over water bungalows on the sunrise side. Though we requested a sunset side, the sunrise side ended up being equally as wonderful (particularly since we never fully got over our jet lag from the States and were up early every day!). The bungalow itself was everything we hoped for - spacious, clean, and direct access to the water - the water was so clear we could see the fish from the bedroom!

Staff were very friendly and very helpful. We kept saying that we felt the resort felt like you were getting your money's worth without it feeling pretentious. We didn't put our shoes on once the entire 5 days we were there - even the reception desk is in sand! We had full board and couldn't have been happier with the food at the main restaurant. I would even venture to say this is some of the best food from a buffet that I've had. We did try the separate Teppanyaki restaurant (at extra cost), it was okay but nothing so exciting. We were impressed that by noting our honeymoon, we were given a totally free dinner on the beach along with a bottle of sparkling wine. Sometimes with these things there are catches, or you have to pay for drinks, etc - but this was truly a free meal. The only unfortunate part was we were also given tickets for a free sunset cruise as part of the honeymoon package, however it only takes place twice a week and there wasn't one during our stay there. Otherwise, we felt truly taken care of here, from the moment we landed in Male to the moment we were dropped back off at the airport!

The manta ray and whale shark excursions are not to be missed - they were the highlight of our stay there!! Another bonus was the complimentary snorkeling gear that we could use throughout our stay. Can't say enough wonderful things about this resort!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
110 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2013

I have been struggling a lot while doing research for accommodation at Maldives as there are lots of them with really good reviews until I realized that Maafushivaru is a little island with a neighborhood private sister island. As usual, one needs to fly to Male before being transferred to the island. The sea plane takes about 25 minutes to Maafushivaru with scenic view along the journey. I would suggest first timer to Maldives to actually choose resort that need to be transferred by seaplane as the view is absolutely stunning and amazing.
The very first impression when reached the lobby wasn’t too impressive until we were escorted to the sea villa. The view was to die for, the colour of sky and water couldn’t describe by word. Villa is adequate in size, modern design, clean and tidy with a small deck outside the villa. The main minor issue I would point out will be the distance between each villa which I think is too closed.
Service at restaurant is average but foods are amazing. Another good experience to travel to the Lonubu Island- the deserted sister island with free transfer three times a day. A fabulous experience overall and I would like visit the island hopefully very soon.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HY C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumbria, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2013

Finally got round to say a few words about the beautiful Island of Maafushivaru...

We have always wanted to try a small Maldivian Island, so we decided to book Maafushivaru for our 5th trip to the Maldives after been previously to Meeru (twice), Kuramathi & Vilamendhoo.
With only 27 Beach Villas, 22 Water Villas & 2 Deluxe Beach Villas (own pool), we felt this Island ticked all the boxes.
You new how small this Island was when our walk to our beach villa was about one minute from reception. Decent size at 112 sq m, tastefully decorated in creams & whites with inside & outside showers and the usual facilities with the addition of ipod dock, coffee maker (pods), slippers & robes. Mini-bar available also on AI, but just soft drinks in there which seemed strange as you can get San Miguel in cans from the bar..No great hardship though as the bar was only minutes away.
Doors opened to the decking & beach view and about ten steps to the lovely beach – very happy!
A full gentle stroll around the Island will take you about seven minutes. One main restaurant, small sushi / teppanyaki over the water, a speciality coffee shop and a wine lounge. Just one bar with a great AI drinks package with pages of cocktails included.
The whole place immediately felt very intimate (which we liked and what we were looking for) you really felt as if you had the place to yourself. Just a couple of people walking past in around 3 hour’s sun bathing on the beach.
There is also an Island tour once a week where you get to see how the Island operates with access to the staff quarters and other areas you would not normally think about during its day to day operation. Stopping off at the staff coffee shop for high tea to ask any questions to any of the staff that are there not on duty.
The beach was of an excellent quality white sand all around with very little broken coral, except from the main jetty to the Spa where it is bit rocky so fish will accumulate to have a nibble on the algae there. Lagoon was lovely and sandy again with very little broken coral here which was unusual as we have always found on other Island lagoons which have been littered with dead coral.
The AIl Inclusive (you can only go AI from the UK) has a vast array of cocktails included with the alcohol content being premium (Gordon’s, Beefeater, Bailey’s, Bacardi, Johnny Walker, Smirnoff etc.) Beer was San Miguel along with Carlsberg (other bottled beers available to purchase) and the usual soft drinks including diet mixers. Wine being of the usual red, white & rose were decent too but you could also purchase the better imported wines in the wine lounge if the AI was not to your taste. Ahmnul & Elsie the bar waiters were exceptional and never letting your glass run dry and always had time for a laugh and a chat. We hope to see them again sometime.
You can dine at the small sushi / teppanyaki restaurant at extra cost, the main restaurant has an intimate feel. Although there were no children on the Island when we visited (except Tim’s the GM daughter) there is a small section where you can dine which is just for couples only and you can be seated on a first come – first served basis over looking the sea.
We found the food to be very good, maybe not quite the selection like on Meeru or Vilamendhoo for instance, but bear in mind you are only catering for around 100 guests max, so keeping waste to a minimum is the correct policy in my book. Always delicious and always hot (never just luke warm like other Island buffets we have visited) this is because the chefs are catering for a much smaller number and food was replenished in smaller amounts as opposed to vast amounts just sitting in the dishes. The chefs are happy to talk about any ingredients used and are always visible at meal times.
Snorkelling equipment is free on AI but we brought our own and used their fins. We don’t do a lot of snorkelling, but the house reef is very much alive with an abundance of all types of coral. Currents were strong in parts and there was regular introduction to snorkelling lessons with the resident marine biologist. Also a lot of snorkelling excursions are available including a night snorkel. I saw the resident turtle from the main jetty settling down for the night in the shallow reef.
Lonubo is a little gem! this is Maafushivaru’s very own private deserted Island which is situated just across the channel. A regular dhoni service twice a day (once in the morning and afternoon) serves this little bit of paradise. Great beaches & snorkelling await if you take the time to go over there. Private dinners also at a cost and even your own BBQ then settle down for the night on your exclusive Island hideaway in the accommodation on the Island. We were lucky enough to have the tiny Island all to ourselves on our anniversary (there is a caretaker there but you won’t see him after he brings you some mattresses for your sun beds). We were in hysterics after four nesting terns decided to attack us after landing as we walked around Lonubo – it was like a scene from a Hitchcock movie!
We had a couple of treatments each in the Spa. A jet lag massage which was a 30 minute free massage courtesy of Kuoni for our anniversary and a further 90 minute relax massage with Tee Tree Oil as I had caught the sun a bit on my back so did help a lot. The wife settled for a manicure & pedicure when I was having mine. Worth noting also that you can use the facilities at the Spa such as the steam room & Jacuzzi and changing rooms / towels each day at no cost, which we thought was a nice touch.
The weather the first few days were somewhat overcast with showers then an extremely stormy day that actually suspended the seaplanes for an afternoon as the wind was very strong and some guests were delayed by up to four hours getting to Maafushivaru. Then a break in the weather and back to some decent amount of sunshine with calmer winds and fantastic clear night sky with the Milky Way proudly on show.
This Island used to be exclusive to Kuoni (still is from the UK) but the market has forced it s owners (Universal) to open ten rooms to the general open market. These are predominantly occupied by the East Asian market and you can’t really blame them for doing so as this segment of the world continues to expand at its present rate, so rooms now available to likes of operators such as Purely Maldives.
Have to say that Kuoni were pretty decent in respect to our requests and as we were celebrating our 20th anniversary we got a complimentary beach dinner, massage, fruit and a bottle of bubbles – so well done Kuoni!
Also worth noting that you do not now get entry into the lounge at Male airport (used to be complimentary with any booked holiday to the Maldives) this has been taken over and refurbished by another company and charge $53 USD for entry, so I guess it was costing Kuoni a lot hence the change of policy. We wouldn’t have had time to use it anyway by the time we reached the airport due to slight delay leaving Male.
So sadly time to leave after ten wonderful nights on ‘Maaf’. We feel we made many friends on this tiny Island, just like we make friends on the other Islands we have visited. But we concur that the intimacy was something special and did really feel like a true Maldives escape (didn’t get that feeling on Vilamendhoo due the density of the villas but still a great holiday). A total chilled place that we loved and pushed this place to our No1 favourite of all our Maldives Islands we have been to. It might be too quiet for some, but we loved it.
I would recommend Maafushivaru if you are looking for an intimate and private escape. We liked the lack of people here compared to some of the bigger Islands. We liked the simplicity of one bar & one restaurant where you quickly got to know your fellow guests, staff & management. An excellent AI package which makes the slightly higher price worth it. An excellent Maldivian night that was curry heaven (like most nights really!) was informative with a range of locals exhibiting goods & displays of how they work, rest & play in the Maldives accompanied by some audience participation when the Bodu Beru drummers get on stage and strut their stuff (you are not allowed to sit down..beware of the conga line!!).
Movie nights on the beach on the big screen. Little touches like nibbles with pre dinner drinks & free wi-fi if that is important to you.
We will always remember our attentive service when we had our beach dinner on our anniversary night surrounded by candles & lanterns and our waiter bringing animals made from palm leaves after every course.
Don’t get me wrong, we loved Meeru, Kuramathi & Vilamendhoo, we just loved Maafushivaru that little bit more.

Room Tip: We were allocated beach villa 109 which we found perfect for us, but you will not be disappointed wi...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank atoll007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2013

The moment we arrived at the island we received a warm welcome. We were briefly introduced to the island then taken to our water villa. We were given villa 222 at the very end of the jetty, the most requested room apparently. The room was incredible, amazing views, very comfortable and direct access to the sea.

The food in the buffet restaurant was beautiful, so much selection for such a small island. The fresh fish was lovely. We also went to the Japanese restaurant one night, definitely worth the visit for the show alone. The perfect food and service topped it off.

We visited the spa on two occasions, once for a facial and once for a couples massage. Highly recommend this service, so relaxing and hydrating. The price is expensive but then you are in the Maldives and most likely will not return.

We visited the private island one afternoon but had to return after 10 minutes after a storm moved in so didn't spend enough time here to comment.

We went on the sunset cruise one evening with sparkling wine which was a nice gesture. We also went on the snorkelling trip to see a whale shark but did not find one...just our luck! A bit expensive just to sit on a boat and snorkel for 20 minutes, could have done that around the island. Maybe a nice gesture would be to send everybody the next day free of charge.

We were on the island for 5 days, probably about one week would have been sufficient. Would definitely recommend and return if the opportunity arose.

Room Tip: Room 222, best room on the island...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tom_overing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Switzerland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2013

From arrival till departure, everything was perfectly organized.
The staff was really amazing. We were amazed, that when we first time met our waiter, Ilham, he knew our names already.
Island is really a paradise for snorkeling and I believe for diving as well, but we didn't tried this. Island is quite tiny, but we had never a feeling that it is crowded there, quite opposite actually.
Japanese restaurant is a must, the show is really funny and interesting. The menu in buffet was changing every day and was really good.
We stayed in water villa, you could see already that it is not brand new, but it was always clean and tidy. We were on sunset side and we really enjoyed sunsets every day.

Room Tip: We had water villa number 210. It's sunset site and sunsets views are to die for. In water below...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Joyxer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maafushivaru

Property: Maafushivaru
Address:
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#10 Spa Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#10 Luxury Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Maafushivaru 5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reached by a picturesque flight over the mysterious atolls of the Maldives, Maafushivaru is a quiet island knitted with lush flora surrounded by pure white sandy beaches and incredible turquoise lagoon. Next to the resort is the tiny desert island of Lonubo, exclusive to Maafushivaru guests. A visit to this beautiful island is a must. You can choose from daily visits for basking in the sun and snorkeling the beautiful reef, or ultimately book to stay overnight, an island just for you and your beloved, even if only for a night. Slumber at your choice of three distinct villas. Beach Villas are sited on postcard perfect beaches whilst the Water Villas are built on stilts over the Indian Ocean providing sunset and sunrise vistas that will be forever etched in your memory. For a fun filled holiday, the Pool Villa is the right pick for families or friends travelling together, featuring two separate villas with a shared pool. Summon the bon vivant inside of you with the delectable fare. Cuisine Gallery showcases a potpourri of dishes from all over the world. While 135° East is your key for an authentic Japanese cuisine displaying the art of teppanyaki and the hibachi steakhouse. Sip favourite sunset cocktails at Water Bar with eclectic evening entertainment ranging from Maldivian evenings, to laser shows and disco nights under the starlit sky. Located on the water’s edge, instill a sense of calm and quietude at the Spa with signature product line Voya focusing on healing therapies and rituals. Explore rich underwater life on the house reefs of Maafushivaru and Lonubo, where fish teem and corals bloom colourfully. Dive with whale sharks and mantas in famed spots down south. Discover the epitome of Maldives – Maafushivaru. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maafushivaru Hotel South Ari Atoll
Maafushivaru Tclub Hotel
Maafushivaru Maldives/Southern Ari Atoll

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